95. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Justice and Equality her views on a matter (details supplied) regarding paternity leave; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [45503/15]


Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality (Deputy Aodhán Ó Ríordáin): As announced in the October Budget, a provision for two weeks paternity leave with a related paternity benefit to be paid through the social welfare system will be introduced from September 2016. As the Deputy will appreciate, substantial changes to legislation as well as new administrative systems in the Department of Social Protection are needed before the benefit and leave arrangements can be implemented. The proposed commencement date of September 2016 is therefore necessary to ensure that all these necessary requirements are in place before paternity leave and payment of paternity benefit can commence.
This is a very important reform of our family leave arrangements, but it does need time to implement. Whatever commencement date is selected, it will inevitably only cater for cases that arise after that date.